Congolese society is deeply unwell; it truly needs help

Congolese society is deeply unwell; it truly needs help
Congolese society is deeply unwell; it truly needs help

Shyaka Kanuma

Africa-Press – Rwanda. One of the most remarkable things, at least to me, about the crises between DR Congo and Rwanda – which have been manufactured in Kinshasa – is the extent to which our Congolese brothers and sisters seem untethered from reality. It is something breathtaking to behold.

When people are having a quarrel, in order for there to be any hope that the quarrel will ever be resolved, there ought to be some readiness on the part of everyone to recognise and accept facts, evidence, or logic as the points of reference, to put to rest their disputes. That is if all parties are acting in good faith.

But – and here is where the world is letting Rwanda down by not coming to our help to talk some sense into our Congolese neighbours! – in the Democratic Republic of Congo that is not how things work. Far from it.

In Tshisekedi’s Congo when they talk – or rather shout and yell – about Rwanda one quickly realises that for them up is down, black is white, and the most bald-faced lie is truth.

The average Congolese, with the exception of a very few men and women of integrity (off the top of my head I can think of Ludovic Kalengayi, an individual who’s on social media tirelessly speaking truth to the powers-that-be in Kinshasa), will completely ignore the realities of geography, history, even geology. As long as it fits their anti-Rwanda narrative.

Here is the most important example of the average Congolese utterly disregarding the most basic, most elementary fact about their country, if it doesn’t fit the propaganda to demonise Rwanda. They will yell until they are blue in the face, that Rwanda is the cause of DRC’s endless conflicts.

Now, as anyone passingly familiar with Congolese social media – X, Facebook, YouTube, name it – knows, the person doing the yelling will present absolutely nothing factual to back their position. They will either shout that Rwanda has invaded their country, or that Rwanda is backing M23, therefore Rwanda is the source of all their problems.

Any counterargument pointing out for instance that M23 in fact is an indigenous Congolese movement will be met with a stream of insults, culminating into threats of “we will invade your country, chase Kagame out, and rape your women!”, or other versions of these juvenile, albeit blood-thirsty, fantasies.

Any attempt to reason with these Congolese brothers and sisters, telling them, say, to think just a bit farther in their history – back to 1994 when the defeated regime in Rwanda, after perpetrating the Genocide against the Tutsi, went on to create the biggest refugee crisis in their country’s history – will invite vitriol, inevitably followed by obfuscation, and shifting of goalposts to unrelated subjects.

Anyone pointing out that probably the root cause of DRC’s current plight lies in events back in 1994 – when the then president Mobutu Sese Seko allowed the perpetrators of the genocide into his country with all their weapons, but that instead of disarming them, Mobutu encouraged them to reorganise in refugee camps with the goal to re-invade Rwanda – will be shouted down by Congolese keyboard warriors.

Whoever patiently tries to tell these people to stop victimising Rwanda and instead look at the implications of Mobutu’s gross failures of leadership in not seeing the dangers of letting the ex-FAR and the Interahamwe militias – the main culprits in one of the Twentieth Century’s worst bloodbaths – run loose with their weapons in their country, will be cursed as “Kagame propagandist” trying to “promote Tutsi empire”, whatever that means.

As for the logic that at some point Rwanda had to take the fight to the terrorist genocidaires – who openly boasted their intentions to re-enter Rwanda and finish what they had started – if Mobutu did not act to end their activities, whoa! That idea provokes some of the most crazed reactions from legions of Congolese in their media.

Kinshasa keyboard warriors (and their auxiliaries as far away afield as “Matonge” in Brussels) will resort to the worst tribalist insults and name-calling. They will be shouting about how Rwanda is stealing their minerals, their mountain gorillas, and even coffee and tea. Some will work themselves into a rage with claims that Rwanda only has good roads and good public infrastructure because of the Congo’s riches.

What all these wild claims have to do with why the Congo government’s failures to sort out the issue of armed men on its territory threatening another country, only goodness knows.

At this point, one has to realise that any appeal to these neighbours to use reason and recognise the causal link between the genocide ideology brought into Congo by the defeated ex-FAR/Interahamwe, and the current (Tshisekedi regime) crimes against humanity is a lost cause.

To even point out that Tshisekedi campaign of pogroms, ethnic cleansing, and genocide targeting Congolese Tutsi Rwandophone communities (on the pretext that his troops, allied with FDLR and an assortment of other cutthroat militias, are “fighting Rwanda”) is to risk gaslighting of the highest order. In seconds, one will be told “you Rwandans are the ones committing genocide in our country!”

The fact that Tshisekedi is in bed with actual perpetrators of genocide like FDLR, the offshoot terrorist group of those genocidaires that Mobutu allowed into Congo and encouraged (in cahoots with his masters in Paris), is of very little concern to them.

They instead will be laundering Tshilombo’s crimes in real time; their mendacious words swallowed like wholesome truth by the gullible, or the simply cynical – think all the reports put out by Western pressure groups like Human Rights Watch, newspaper website articles, or TV reporting that incessantly accuse Rwanda of “stoking unrest in DRC”.

I always ask myself, are the Congolese that voice all sorts of absurd falsehoods and propaganda merely ignorant or misinformed? Are they just impervious to truth, logic, and reason?

When someone shouts something like “there are no Congolese Tutsi”, are they merely in the dark about their country’s past, and have never once in their life sat through a simple history lesson of their country’s colonial history?

I think most of it is a calculated stance, to ignore truth as a way to facilitate their messages of hate. A lot of these people have bought into Tshisekedi’s campaign of hate and demonisation against Rwanda while, vexingly, too many of them refuse to see that Tshilombo is playing them.

They refuse to see him for the abject failure he is as a leader; as someone who has presided over the worst insecurity in his country’s history; the worst levels of poverty; the worst corruption (which is saying something in the country of Mobutu!).

In short, Tshisekedi has been the worst at everything, yet even an individual like this can so easily manipulate so many Congolese.

The only conclusion, sadly, is that the DRC as a society is unwell. Deeply so.

This country badly needs help, but where will it come from?

Source: The New Times

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